Every once in awhile I seem to build up a bit of a rant about HR vendors – I’m still getting feedback from my post last year on Bad 80s Shows and HR Technology. This time I’m getting worked up about RPOs and it’s because of statements like these:
- Company X saved over 41% per hire while reducing the time to fill a position by an average of 20 days by using a RPO model.
- Choosing to outsource your recruitment process will save your company money and improve your overall candidate hiring process
What I hear as an HR Pro:
We don’t really care about helping you hire better quality people. What we really care about is getting you people faster and cheaper because we don’t know sh*t about your organization.
Yes, sign me up for the cheaper candidate please.
It would be easy to bash the RPO guys but my question goes beyond the vendors. Can you really effectively outsource the single most important thing HR is responsible for delivering to someone outside your company? Maybe parts of the process can be outsourced but at the end of the day, who is going to care more about the people you hire than you? I would argue no one does, which is why I think the RPO companies tend to focus on cost savings because deep down they know this too.
Now, I’m not throwing out the whole idea of an RPO but I’ll tell you what – let’s cut out all the saving money business. That’s table stakes and it’s the very least I’m expecting from you. But there are 3 things I do want to hear from you:
1. How you’re going to hire great talent for my company. I don’t want to hear all the b.s. about top talent, blah, blah, blah. I want to hear how you’re going to learn, really learn about what my company does and what a highly successful employee looks like at my company. Then I want to hear how you’re going to go out and find them and hook em. And please, don’t tell me about your database. I’m sure it’s nice and big.
2. How you’re going to build me a pipeline of potential employees. And pipeline doesn’t mean people I didn’t hire for a position whose resume I get to keep on file. This means what are you going to do so that people are dying to work for my company and line up outside my doors to work here? This means developing relationships with candidates even though they may not be part of the monthly fill metrics.
3. When our relationship is going to end. I want to know how you’re going to help me build the capability and capacity internally to do what you do. Back to my original point – you might care about hiring good people but I’m not sure you can care as much as me. So tell me when you’re out and how I’m going to be able to run this myself.
LIke I said, there are some really good things about the RPO concept. So HR Pros, if you’re faced with a the decision about whether to outsource or not, take the time to really separate the men from the boys!
Andy Porter is Chief People Officer at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Cambridge, MA which means he works with some wicked smaaht people. Some days, he indeed does wear short shorts around the office(call it a morale booster) but it really just makes people uncomfortable. Other days, he spits some mad game on cheese. No really – he’s somewhat of a cheese aficionado. But more importantly? At Broad he gets to his small part to help change the world of healthcare.